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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        28  May 2011

Philippine central bank sees slower growth

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Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines central bank, said on Friday that recent unfavorable developments that transpired in the first quarter would have a negative impact on global economic growth at least in the short term.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the Philippine economy will continue to grow this year, although slower than earlier projections of between 7 percent and 8 percent.

He said the government’s assumption was arrived at prior to events such as the continued geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, as well as the natural disaster in Japan that resulted in a nuclear crisis.

Tetangco said there would likely be a negative impact on global growth, which would affect all countries at least in the short term.

But given the rebuilding and reconstruction efforts to be done in Japan, there would be positive impact on the growth of the world economy in the medium to long term, he said.

“So, we may be affected by that and therefore we should not be surprised if the growth rate for this year turns out to be lower than the 7 percent to 8 percent target,” Tetangco told reporters.

The central bank earlier revised downward its economic growth forecast for the country to a range of 5 percent to 6 percent this year, which Tetangco said “is a reasonable figure in a situation like this.”

Separately, the National Economic and Development Authority had said the country’s economic target may be revised downward mostly because of the disaster in Japan and the political crisis in MENA.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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